Stryd, a company that made the first wearable running power meter, is based out of Colorado and 303 has been following them for the last couple years. They just won the Hype Foundation’s Global Innovation in Sports Competition in Rio, so we were definitely interested in what they were showing everyone here in Kona.
One of the things Stryd did was to allow athletes to take the footpod for a run and then review the data to get a taste of the technology. On Tuesday morning I showed up to their tent around 7am, and met Adam. He set me up with the new footpod (the previous version was a heart rate strap) and off I went for a run down Ali’i drive. I was on the rolling hills, and changed up the pace here and there to see what would happen.
When I returned, Adam uploaded the data to the Stryd software (it’s online) and we looked at the metrics. I had never run with the Stryd unit before, so I couldn’t get a whole lot of meaning from the numbers, but rather see the trends of the metrics as I increased the pace, slowed down, ran uphill, and downhill. Sure enough, when we reviewed the data, the big picture data showed what I’d expect – power that was steady when I ran, and when I pushed the pace it went up.
On Wednesday afternoon, Stryd set up an all-star panel at Huggo’s with coaches Frank Jakobsen, Jim Vance, and Andrew Coggan (he Skyped in), one of the co-founders of Stryd, Jamie Williamson, as well as IRONMAN champion Craig Alexander. The panel was moderated by Bob Babbitt.
The panel discussed a little of the history of the company, the benefit of using the power metric in running, some of the differences between analyzing bike power data and running power. They also stressed that this is very new so the data is being collected. The more feedback they can get from coaches and athletes using a Stryd unit, the better the data analysis will get over time, and the better the product can be.
The panel then took questions from the audience. Some of them were existing Stryd users, and some were just now learning about the technology. Then Jamie gave a short presentation with a little more technical talk of the data from the Stryd unit. Jim Vance also had copies of his book available for purchase.
These kinds of events here in Kona are fantastic. Not only are athletes (whether racing or not) and coaches around essentially everything triathlon, it’s an educational and networking environment as well.